Smugness is obnoxious. Since the failed ObamaCare rollout, there have been a lot of smug Republicans.
They gleefully recount healthcare.gov horror stories—hours spent on the site without being able to sign up—and people who haven’t been able to keep their plans, period. Contrary to the pervasive joy in Conservative circles, these aren’t good things.
The average American may not have been a huge fan of the Affordable Care Act when it passed, but now that it’s law, they’d like it to work properly, make their lives easier. They’re worried. It seems like their government can’t do anything right. Their country appears to be faltering.
They look around for an alternative, someone to rescue them from this leaderless chaos, and what do they see? Republicans with sh**-eating grins on their faces taking triumphant turns on talking head shows. We don’t look like the better option.
If Republicans don’t change our behavior and attitude, we will squander the opportunity to right the terrible wrongs of Obama’s presidency. We can’t dance in the end zone.
We need to let people know that we don’t want to win for the sake of winning. We want to provide constructive solutions to improve their lives. Sometimes, those solutions are just to get government out of the way, a point Obamacare is effectively illustrating for us.
We have to say, “I know you’re frustrated and disappointed the health care law is not working, we are too and here’s what we’d like to do to make it better.” Or, “I recognize that aspects of Obamacare—letting young adults stay on their parents’ plan until age 26 or enabling people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage—really help your family, but we think there’s an even better way to help you and others, and here it is.”
As Republicans, we have the better ideas. If we truly want the American people to give us the chance to prove it, we’d better shape up.
From her blog posted at 4:31pm yesterday, it would appear Peggy Noonan is psychic.
In her advice to Republicans on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Noonan instructs, “Do not be defeated by Sebelius’s media coaches. Do not let the secretary’s slightly dazed unflappability get under your skin. All representatives of government are surrounded by communications advisers. Sebelius’s are no doubt advising her right now to do what they always tell officials in trouble to do: Come forth with long, meaningless yet on some level data-filled sentences that will steer clear of speaking plain truth and yet on some level imply the effort to be candid.”
Noonan then provides a hypothetical transcript that bears a striking resemblance to the actual transcript from today’s hearing:
Q: Madame Secretary, did you know or have reason to know the ObamaCare website would crash on opening day? If you did, did you tell the White House? Who in the White House? If you did not know, how did it happen that you, the person in charge of the program, did not understand the depth of its problems?
A: So, we know through historical experience that a vast, multitiered, horizontally integrated program will always yield or produce certain unanticipated challenges of a technological or other nature, which is inevitably and also predictably the pattern, and it’s increased by the scale and size of the endeavor . . .
Q: Let me ask: Did you know that as soon as the program debuted, millions of Americans would see their own health insurance policies canceled or terminated? And that they would often find that newer policies would be more expensive with less coverage? When did you come to understand this—during the writing of the law, after its passage, in the ensuing years? If you did not know that millions would lose their coverage, how did it happen that you did not know?
A: So, in the intervening days and months following the passage of the ACA, a focused task force composed of peer-reviewed stakeholders throughout the government and the private sector, in addition to appropriate designated agency officials, along with contractors and subcontractors . . .
Of course, initial headlines covering the hearing highlight Sebelius’s apology for the failed rollout. Another delightful tidbit making the rounds online is this exchange between Sebelius and Mississippi representative, Greg Harper, in which Sebelius replies to Harper’s insistence that Obama is ultimately responsible with, “whatever.”
Really however, there was nothing new or earth shattering in the testimony. In fact, for those of us who fought Obamacare since its inception, the failed rollout and millions of Americans losing their current plans is not at all surprising. It’s what we always knew would happen.
As was clear in today’s hearing and this week’s coverage, Democrats have seized on our forewarnings of failure as proof that the failure is our fault.
That’s right. Republicans’ mental power is so strong that we can make things come true simply by stating them out loud. If that were the case, President Romney would currently be dismantling the Affordable Care Act, aided by a Republican controlled House and Senate.
No, responsibility for Obamacare—it’s failures and lies—rests fully with the president and congressional Democrats (reason #123 why it’s best to pass massive legislation with bipartisan support).
The Obamacare debate and debacle highlights big government liberalism’s inherent flaw: Overpromising and under-delivering is the only thing government consistently does well. Conservatives recognize this reality and legislate accordingly. Democrats do not. Thus, we knew Obamacare wouldn’t work, while they’re stunned it’s not going smoothly.
In the end, I guess the problems of Obamacare could be blamed on Republicans—despite our wisdom, we failed to defeat the bill.
When you have someone help set stuff up for you (like a blog page) it’s a good idea to write down passwords. I changed computers a couple weeks ago and haven’t been able to log into NobleThinking – sorry about the silent treatment.
As you likely know, I fly. A lot. So I read this headline with interest:
Friday 13th travellers take chance on flight 666 to HEL
Now, they aren’t actually flying to hell. Every airport in the world has a three letter code, some which are obvious like LAX, PHX or SFO and some which aren’t as obvious like ORD (Chicago) or MCO (Orlando). HEL is the airport code for Helsinki.
Would I take that flight? Sure. I’m not superstitious (expect in baseball) and I’m writing this while on a flight on Friday the 13th already.
Sometimes it’s better to not listen to your kid’s playlist. It makes you realize they are growing up way too fast.
When it comes to Syria, I can’t imagine it makes sense to say, “Hey Russia, great idea!” Russia may not be the menace that it was during the Cold War, but it is not an ally. Still, Putin is way more cool than our President.
I’ve been in politics for more than 20 years and I figure I have pretty much seen it all. But sometimes in politics I see something so beyond the pale that it still shocks me. That is the case with the latest move by Senate President Harry Reid (D-NV) and other Senate Democrats.
They are really unhappy that Sen. David Vitter continues to denounce ObamaCare and is saying that lawmakers shouldn’t be getting subsidized health care coverage. You may remember that Sen. Vitter was accused of having a relationship with a call girl a number of years ago.
With that context, check out this story by Politico:
Senate Democrats have had all they can take from David Vitter and his fixation on Obamacare — and they’re dredging up his past prostitution scandal to hit back.
Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, has infuriated Democrats this week by commandeering the Senate floor, demanding a vote on his amendment repealing federal contributions to help pay for lawmakers’ health care coverage.
But Democratic senators are preparing a legislative response targeting a sordid Vitter episode. If Vitter continues to insist on a vote on his proposal, Democrats could counter with one of their own: Lawmakers will be denied those government contributions if there is “probable cause” they solicited prostitutes.
You couldn’t make this stuff up. This is junior high school level bullying. Now, I’ve never been a fan of Harry Reid, but this is so beneath someone who is supposed to represent the people that you have to call him what is: a real a**. He truly demonstrates why the Democratic mascot is a donkey.
I love the Disney movie “Up.” So I read with interest that there was a guy who used hundreds of colored balloons to take off from Maine to cross the Atlantic Ocean. That takes some serious guts.
Alas, about 12 hours into the trip, he landed in Newfoundland and proclaimed, “This doesn’t look like France.” At least he has a sense of humor.
Lately, President Obama has been giving “big, important, economic speeches” that give us that “meh” feeling. But enough work, right?
Last night’s appearance on Jay Leno was to be a decidedly more relaxed environment before Obama goes on another vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. Obama and Jay talked candidly about the issues of the day, from Trayvon Martin, Vladimir Putin, and the economy, to the infrastructure of our ports. That’s when the president probably could’ve used a map… er, more talking points.
The president was mentioning the expansion of the Panama Canal and how improved port infrastructure is needed to allow for the new fleet of super-tankers that would soon be coming to the Gulf of Mexico, when he said:
“If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs. Businesses won’t locate here.”
I checked a map to make sure global warming hasn’t changed the location of the Gulf or something like that. Sure enough, “the Gulf ports” of Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville are still on the Atlantic Ocean. So yes, Mr. President, those ships will probably go to ports in New Orleans, Louisiana, or Mobile, Alabama, or Tampa, Florida, or one of the four ports in Texas.
It’s not really a surprise that Obama doesn’t know the geographical make-up of the Southern states. He never really campaigned there, so why would need to?
I’d like to say I’m surprised by the lack of media attention this major gaffe has received. But I’m not. I don’t think that a political gaffe should define multiple news cycles, but remember when President Bush would make one? The media would go in to a tailspin and Saturday Night Live would do a skit. Now? Not even a passing mention on the 24-hour news channels.
Wouldn’t it be fascinating to listen into the White House conversations about Arizona, and in particular, Governor Jan Brewer?
Staffer: “Mr. President, that Governor that wagged her finger in your face is doing more than even Democrat Governors to implement your health care bill!”
POTUS: “ReallyShould we consider her for an Administration post?”
Staffer: “You want her wagging her finger at you at every Cabinet meeting?”
POTUS: “Good point. Let’s just send her some flowers.”
It’s been interesting to watch the reaction from national reporters in watching Brewer cheerlead Medicaid expansion. Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court gave State the “out” from one of the most egregious parts of Obamacare and a “conservative” Republican Governor not only decides to opt-in, she does so with the enthusiasm of a school girl getting ready for prom.
So there is a cognitive dissonance in the heads of DC-based reporters who, if you mention “Arizona Governor” immediately think about immigration crackdowns. No open borders, but it’ll be open enrollment.
The Supreme Court ruling, striking down the federal component of the Defense of Marriage Act, affirms, for now, the state’s ability to define marriage. This was expected, and as a believer in State’s Rights, it was the right decision.
While my friends in the gay community celebrated the “overturning” of California’s Proposition 8, what the Court did was much more nuanced and process oriented. They basically ruled that the federal appellate courts had no jurisdiction over the appeal because backers of Prop. 8 didn’t have standing to carry the appeal. Only the state could have done that. Call it a victory for gay marriage on a technicality. That is, the higher courts have not affirmed the district court’s overturning of Prop. 8 (yet).
That’s not to say that there isn’t a obvious trend towards gay marriage becoming more accepted and eventually legal across the board. The challenge will be how to balance the rights of gay couples with the religious freedom of churches and faith-based institutions.
For example, while I believe gay couples should have the same rights afforded straight couples, I don’t think the Catholic Church’s adoption services should be required to facilitate adoptions by gay couples. However, as a result of Massachusetts state law, the Catholic Church was faced with the choice of facilitating such adoptions or close their doors. That’s a clear overreach of the First Amendment, which protects religious liberty.
Needless to say, this discussion is far from over.
Obama’s big play on dealing with “climate change” exposes, yet again, his complete disregard for Congress, the will of the American people or the rule of law. Keep in mind, it was five years ago this month that Obama said, “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
This is a President who claims to be looking out for the little guy, but subsidizes his billionaire friends with “green energy” cash and wants to shut down coal-fired power plants, even admitting that “under my plan, electricity rates will necessarily sky-rocket.” Who gets hurt? The poor and those on fixed-income. With friends like these…
The Arizona Capitol Times had their “Best of the Capitol” awards dinner this week. Inexplicably, I was nominated for a couple categories in which the competition was overwhelming. Congrats to Arizona Chamber President Glenn Hamer for his “Power Broker” award and to Chuck Coughlin for “Best Political Operative.” Well-deserved by both.
Could it be true? Has Obama fallen victim to the second term curse? That remains to be seen, but the outlook is rather promising… for us. Through his first term right up until two weeks ago the president seemed untouchable. Yet now, Jay Carney and Obama’s spin team must wage a daily game of whack-a-mole, trying to squash one scandal only to have another pop up.
September 11, 2012 – four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The Americans called for help, radioed in their position, and hoped for backup—it never came. Somewhere between Ambassador Chris Stevens’ harrowing call that they were under attack and his death and that of three other Americans, a special operations rescue team was called off; exactly who made that call, we still don’t know. In the immediate aftermath, the State Department and the White House claimed it wasn’t a terrorist attack, but rather a demonstration in response to an anti-Islam video. Talking points were scrubbed and Americans were intentionally misled in a purely political play designed to secure Obama’s re-election.
Next, we have officials at the IRS targeting conservative groups as far back as 2009. A government agency attacking others on a basis of political belief is reprehensible and should not be tolerated at any level; especially when that agency is the universally despised IRS. This was not just an isolated, obscure event at the bureau in Cincinnati; it now appears to be by design with national implications—and, let’s not forget that these are the guys responsible for enforcing Obamacare. Facts are still coming out, but it’s clear that the Obama administration knew about this in April, if not before. Was he hoping this would pass just as the others? Or did they sit on this information and then release it this week in an attempt to drown out the Benghazi coverage? How calculating are they?
Lastly, we have the most recent scandal wherein the Department of Justice ‘secretly’ pulled phone records of Associated Press reporters. The AP found this out on Friday and went public on Monday, calling it “a massive and unprecedented intrusion”. The DOJ says they were investigating the source of a national security leak in 2012, and had to look into reporters and their information gathering. This may be the most damning episode in ‘Down Goes The Administration’. The AP and other media outlets are furious. Obama’s presidency will not survive if the love affair between him and the press goes sour.
Am I surprised? No. From the Fast and Furious operation that left Brian Terry, a border patrol agent dead; to Solyndra, where $535 million in taxpayer went straight to Obama’s friends and supporters in a textbook case of crony corruption, this Administration has never played by the rules, respected the truth, or honored its promises of transparency. Of course, nothing has changed from the first term to the second term. Why would it? He’s gotten away with this behavior for over four years.
I’m not sure if any of these scandals will end up sticking to the Teflon President. Keep in mind, that all of the current scandals happened during Obama’s FIRST term and I’ve gotta say, I’m afraid to find out what’s in store for his encore.
With everything from the Kentucky Derby, to Cinco de Mayo, to the next tweet from Lindsay Lohan, keeping up on the economy takes focus. We’re so distracted by a plethora of side issues that it’s hard to focus on the real ones. Like the talking dog from the movie “Up” we can…
…get distracted. Allow me to pull you back to reality where we’re dealing with defective policies, excessive unemployment, and a stagnant economy.
Back in 2009, the Obama Administration predicted that today’s unemployment rate would be just over 5%. The president said his plan would save or create millions of jobs by increasing spending to the tune of $831 billion. That “stimulus” plan, with its shovel-ready jobs, failed miserably and became the laughing stock of his first term.
On Friday, the Department of Labor reported that the economy added 165,000 jobs in the month of April, while unemployment dropped slightly to 7.5%. The private sector added 186,000 new jobs, while government jobs decreased by 11,000. On the surface – and according to the media – this seems to somewhat resemble the “recovery” Obama described. They want us to believe this “recovery” has been consistent, the economy is growing, and unemployment is declining steadily – which is not the case.
Let’s look beyond the numbers, starting with this four-year low 7.5% unemployment rate. To be completely clear, the employment rate didn’t fall because of any uptick in hiring. Instead, it fell because frustrated Americans gave up looking for work. The number of Americans in the labor force has dropped to a record 63.3%. How does that 7.5% sound now?
Seemingly, this administration lacks the capacity to perform the task at hand. They still hope for recovery, but continue to pursue and implement bad policies. The economy should be number one, two, and three on the list of tasks for this administration. Instead, they’re focused on taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, giving morning-after pills to children, and pretending – again – that they’re going to close Guantanamo.
We’ve blinked and lost focus on the critical issues.
The “spring swoon” is in effect and we’ve got to pay attention. We can blame our distractions on the media for its lack of proper reporting, but what about the president? He has no excuse for his negligence and utter disregard for the real issues. Eyes front, Mr. President!
When my kids were small, they’d cover their eyes and think that because they couldn’t see the world, the world couldn’t see them. It was cute. It’s not so cute when the President of the United States does it though.
President Obama told Americans repeatedly that al Qaeda was “on the run.” Even the day after four Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama told supporters in Las Vegas, “a day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead.” On September 18 and numerous other occasions, Obama said al Qaeda had been “decimated.” He continued the War-on-Terror-is-so-over-I-won’t-even-use-the-word-terror theme throughout his campaign.
Unfortunately, as many of us knew at the time, and as the Boston Marathon bombings made clear, that’s not true. No matter how gifted a speaker Barack Obama believes himself to be, he cannot will something to be true simply by saying it out loud.
It appears that the Obama Administration’s strict denial of reality is also partly to blame for the FBI and intelligence failures surrounding the Boston bombings. Following a September 2011 story in Wired Magazine, “FBI Teaches Agents: ‘Mainstream’ Muslims are ‘Violent, Radical,’” 57 Muslim advocacy groups wrote a letter to Obama Administration officials complaining about “the federal government’s use of biased, false and highly offensive training materials about Muslims.” Instead of asking why these groups weren’t directing their energy towards the jihadists around the world who use the Quran to incite violence and murder thousands of innocent people, Obama’s people promptly “pulled more than 700 documents and 300 presentations,” scrubbing from its counterterrorism training mentions of Islam, Muslim, Hamas, and jihad—which is now referred to as “violent extremism.” Sebastian Gorka, a counterterrorism specialist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies tells the Washington Times, “the fact is, religion has been expunged from counterterrorism training. The FBI can’t talk about Islam and can’t talk about jihad.”
Well, if the Commander-in-Chief is claiming the War on Terror is over and you remove Muslim extremism as a red flag then it’s no wonder the FBI missed the fact that jihadist Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed a threat to America. Obama wants Islam and terrorism not to be connected, so he ties the hands of our intelligence community and forces them to operate as if they aren’t. Does this make you feel safer?
The same disregard for reality can be found in his approach to domestic issues. As predicted by its opponents, the health care law has been disastrous. Even the author of the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Max Baucus, sees “a huge train wreck coming down” with the law’s implementation. In a press conference yesterday however, an extraordinarily out-of-touch Obama said, “and there will be stories that can be written that say, oh, look, this thing is not working the way it’s supposed to, and this happened and that happened. And that’s pretty much true of every government program that’s ever been set up…But if we stay with it and we understand what our long-term objective is…if we keep that in mind, then we’re going to be able to drive down costs; we’re going to be able to improve efficiencies in the system; we’re going to be able to see people benefit from better health care. And that will save the country money as a whole over the long term.” No acknowledgement of the concerns expressed by small business people, no answers to questions raised by Senator Baucus and others. “Everything is fine because I say that it is fine. My presidency has been a roaring success because I want it to be.”
America is not safer, our economy is worse and the man charged with protecting us and leading our recovery says things like, “it’s not optimal,” and “glitches and bumps.”
My kids figured out that we could see them by the time they reached their 3rd birthday. It’s time for Barack Obama to uncover his eyes and see the world for what it is. Before he hurts our country even more.
Earlier this week, America watched the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Present at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, were the four living former presidents, as well as the current president. It was the second time all five men have been together. It was first time the differences between them were so obvious.
Bush 43 spoke with warmth, humor, and class – three words that describe him perfectly. At the end of his speech, he was so moved by his love for this nation that he could barely get out his last two words, “God bless.” He spoke them with tears in his eyes, and obvious love in his heart.
Bush 41 spoke from his wheelchair, his health not being what it once was. After receiving a standing ovation, he stood for a few moments with the help of his son and wife – a huge smile of gratitude on his face.
Honorary member of the Bush family, Bill Clinton, expressed his genuine affection for 41, 43, and Barbara Bush. He also joked about 43 painting him in the nude (I guess he still can’t keep his pants on – sorry, I couldn’t help it), and in a moment that seemed off-script, exclaimed “I LIKE President Bush!” It’s no secret that Clinton’s two favorite ex-presidents aren’t the ones from his political party.
Carter spoke briefly, in his uniquely uncomfortable way, starting by mentioning the disputed 2000 election that propelled Bush into office. He spent the rest of his speech praising Bush’s humanitarian work.
Obama, as usual, spent a large portion of his speech talking about himself. On a day meant to honor the man he’s spent years blaming for his own failures, Obama focused on his membership in the “Presidents’ Club,” and how hard his job is. Ironically, though, he spoke one of the most apt lines of the day when he said, “He takes his job seriously, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously.” Too bad Obama doesn’t realize that the opposite is true in his case. It was an amazing contrast. Three friends filled with love for their country, flanked by an awkward old man in sunglasses and a selfish narcissist.
Overall, it was a great day for a great man. I’m grateful to President George W. Bush for his service to this nation and I look forward to visiting his library in the near future.
Sequestration, North Korea threatening to start a nuke fest, a budget passed 92 days late…and last night The White House partied like it was “1999.” Since 1978, the Memphis Soul performance at the White House has showcased America’s finest talent and this year’s event surely did not disappoint.
Let’s face the facts – the era of prosperity and scenes of lavish parties thrown by the Reagans, Clintons and Bushes trumpeted prosperous economic times. Now, times have changed for millions of Americans—instead of Memphis Soul, the night should have been called the “Washington Blues”.
Our “Party President” lives in a fantasy world; his empathy is selective and his actions are suspect. Cutting border patrols, White House tours and other government programs, Obama then spends millions of taxpayer dollars on parties and vacations.
Sure, Obama is giving back five percent of his salary to the treasury – a whopping $20,000—to show his “sacrifice” to a nation that is already trillions of dollars of debt. But even Obama needs a vacation from his weekends of golf on the taxpayer’s dime, right?
The President should be ashamed after Tuesday night’s extravagant display. While the likes of Justin Timberlake, Queen Latifah and Cyndi Lauper crooned, the only thing missing was Prince on stage alongside the other musical glitterati. If the president wants to party like it’s 1999 he should get the unemployment rate to what it was in 1999– 4.1%.
His scripted speeches on the teleprompter, claim that he knows Americans are hurting, but his actions and off-the-cuff remarks make it clear, Barack Obama doesn’t have a clue about the average taxpayer’s daily struggles. Barack, the music stopped playing a long time a ago, you’re the only one dancing. The party’s over.